Can you see your way out of your own status quo? Your status quo is created by the habits, systems, hard and soft wiring, schedules, responsibilities and all sorts of other factors in your life. Your status quo creates that smoke screen which clouds your strategic vision.
Your professional myopia begins about 15 minutes into every work day, doesn’t it?
You continue to focus on making your year-end numbers, increasing profitability by reducing your own billable hours, and speaking to as many prospective customers as you can by end of year. Anything new about your approach?
Your customers have the same perception as well. Perhaps it’s time to retool and recalibrate.
Your business success may be more a matter of your making that small pivot in thinking that makes you look, sound, feel and believe in the value and relevance you bring to your clients’ business tables.
My asking you to retool is the equivalent of your asking your customers to purchase a new piece of manufacturing special machinery. You perceive my request as a Herculean task, and one which involves as much mental muscle as capital investment.
You will retool “later.” That’s just what your customers are telling you, as well. Call me next quarter when we have fresh budgets. Call me in six months. Call me when I’m ready, which is when?
Retooling is a form of continuous self-improvement and professional development for today’s globally competitive marketplace. It’s an exercise regimen for your brain. It’s a way of thinking about the same thing, ever so slightly differently, that makes all the difference in the professional outcome.
You will consider retooling later. You are too busy chasing your sales numbers right now.
Your ability to provide perspective and insight to your customers is a function of your own professional development. What have you done, thus far, to retool in 2013? Think about incorporating this habit as part of your annual business development arsenal. It’s not an afterthought, when things haven’t gone according to your – or your company’s – annual plan.
We sell, design, develop, invest, create, and innovate in a dynamic market space. What seems like a good idea in January should be examined throughout your annual business development cycle so that it remains appropriate and relevant to buyers.
What has changed in your buying, selling, engineering, creating environment over the past year? What can you extrapolate, moving forward?
How comfortable are you with the concept of shift, change, improvement, flux?
Developing your ability to take this type of input, constantly create valuable throughput, and collaborate on behalf of your customer’s output is your equation for tomorrow, moving forward.
When considered from this dynamic perspective, retooling is the norm, rather than the exception. Yet you balk at the concept.
It’s uncomfortable to retool. Yet with the plethora of digital information available to today’s buyers, maintaining your own status quo may be the rate-limiting step in your business development success.
Think about moving yourself, your strategy, and your throughput at least 1 millimeter outside your current comfort level. What would be involved?
Ah, there, you have it!
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers, engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups.